Critical Care Education: An Examination of Students' Perspectives

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Critical Care Education: An Examination of Students' Perspectives

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Harcourt Publishers Ltd

Abstract

Microsoft Word - Theobald_experience2.doc The experience of spouses whose partners have suffered a myocardial infarction: a phenomenological study Karen Theobald RN BAppSc MHlthSc(Nsg) Lecturer, Queensland University of Technology, School of Nursing, Australia INTRODUCTION Patients suffering a myocardial infarction (MI) are usually admitted to coronary care units/intensive care units and are cared for by many health professionals, the majority of whom have undertaken advanced clinical courses of study. The emphasis of these courses, however, is often on the medical aspects of care, such as physiology, phar- macology and the biophysical responses of patients to medical treatment. Limited attention has been given to emotional issues associated with critical care psychological support (Theobald 1993). This highlights a possible lack of understanding by health professionals of the importance of psychosocial implications of cardiac conditions which affect the patient, and their families. The literature suggests that the spouse has an effect on the recovery and rehabilitation of the individual who has suffered an MI (Dhooper 1983, Wright & Leahey 1984, Young & Kahana 1987). The majority of the research regarding the spouse and cardiac illness has utilized quantitative approaches with few studies concentrating on the perceptions of spouses following their partner’s illness. Such information can only be revealed through descriptions of the nature of the individual’s experience. Furthermore, MI is prevalent in both males and females, yet few studies have examined male partners and their perception of the MI event. While this fact reflects gender differences in the epidemiology of myocardial infarction, investigations of adaptation by male spouses may reveal important aspects of care not usually considered by practitioners (National Heart Foundation 1995). LITERATURE REVIEW Cardiovascular disease is still the leading cause of death in Australia (43

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